What happened to all the IPOs?
It wasn’t so long ago that the market for initial public offerings — in which a promising and often young private company first allows public investors to buy its stock, often as a way to raise money and invest in the future — was booming. In the two decades before 2000, America was averaging some 300 IPOs a year. In fact, volume was considerably higher than that from 1990 to 2000, reaching 706 in 1996, for example.
Then they fell off a cliff. Last year, there were a mere 147. What happened?